Why PAD Matters

Man sitting on gurney with prosthetic leg

Why does peripheral artery disease matter?

Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, happens when fatty deposits build up in arteries outside the heart, usually the arteries supplying oxygen-rich blood to the arms, legs and feet.

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See how narrowed arteries can cause pain.

Is PAD dangerous or life threatening?

Yes, PAD can be dangerous because these blockages can restrict circulation to your limbs and organs. Without adequate blood flow, your vital organs, arms, legs and feet can suffer damage. Left untreated, the tissue can become infected or die, a condition called gangrene. Limb amputation is a serious complication of PAD. Left untreated, PAD may also increase your risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke.

Does PAD cause additional health problems?

PAD may be the first warning sign of atherosclerosis – the buildup of fatty plaque in the artery walls that narrows and blocks them throughout the body, including in the heart, brain, arms, legs, pelvis, kidneys and other organs. Fatty deposits also increase the risk for vascular inflammation and blood clots that can block the blood supply and cause tissue death.

PAD is potentially a life-threatening condition but it can be managed.

Video: Top 3 Reasons to Take Your Socks Off

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Watch, Learn and Live

See detailed illustrations of PAD and how it affects your body.

PAD Symptoms and Risk Factors

If you have cramping, tingling or weakness in your legs, you might have peripheral artery disease, also known as PAD. PAD can lead to leg or foot amputation and even heart attack or stroke. Early detection is key!

If you have trouble with your feet or legs, talk to a doctor about PAD and ask to take off your socks.